Tuesday, September 2, 2014


When we bought our region-free BluRay player about a year ago upon arriving in Australia, we were told that it should work on all regionally incompatible DVDs and almost all BluRays -- even though it wouldn't officially work on any of them. See, the region-busting only officially works on DVDs.

"But 90% of the BluRays should work anyway," the guy told us. "They don't bother to encode them properly."

A year later, I'm proud to call us satisfied customers. In that year I have watched countless movies -- actually, I'll count them up in a moment -- on that BluRay player that originated in other regions (namely Region 1, the American region).

However, I did think it was worth stopping to point out our first failure.

It came in the form of Repo! The Genetic Opera, which my friend who gave it to me as a joke will be only too happy to learn.

I tried to watch Repo! on Saturday night, but was denied. At least it was a polite denial, though. Instead of just some generic ERROR ERROR ERROR or a blunt, no-frills message about the region mismatch, at least it gave a nice little message about the BluRay's incompatibility, written in a font from the movie's advertising materials and against a cityscape from the movie. I'd almost go as far as to say it was pleasant.

Instead I had to watch some little movie called Run Lola Run, which is my #12 movie of all time on Flickchart. Ho-hum.

But the denial gave me occasion to reflect on just how successful the purchase has been. When I packed all the movies I cared about into a Case Logic folder to transport them to Australia, it was with only a vague sense of how many of them would actually work. I knew about region-free DVD players and I knew you could get them in Australia (not something you could wrangle up in the U.S.), but I didn't know if they worked with BluRays and I also didn't know if they would be prohibitively expensive.

I can't remember what we paid for our BluRay player, but it wasn't at all unreasonable, and it's been worth every penny. Here is the list of foreign-region DVDs or BluRays I have played since we first bought that player:

Toy Story (BluRay)
A Prophet (BluRay)
Galaxy Quest (DVD)
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (DVD)
Wonder Boys (DVD) (partial)
Tangled (BluRay)
Planet 51 (DVD)
Vanilla Sky (DVD)
Where the Wild Things Are (BluRay)
Donnie Darko (DVD) (partial)
Never Let Me Go (BluRay) (partial)
Kill Bill Vol 1. (DVD)
The Cable Guy (DVD)
Cube (DVD)

and finally

Run Lola Run (DVD)

So that tells me that not only has the purchase been worth it, but so has it been worth it to lug my movies over from the U.S. (But when it's something as near and dear to you as your movie collection, is it really properly described as "lugging?")

And though I do kind of now thirst for a viewing of Repo! even more, it'll give me something to look forward to when we (possibly) return to the U.S. in 2016.

That and Crystal Light. I really miss my Crystal Light. And Trader Joe's. And Altoids. And Lucky Charms.

Okay, I'll stop now.


Don Handsome said...

Take that Repo! and kick it in the river. I'm surprised it even made the move.

Vancetastic said...

It made the move because I like it -- I like it a lot. In fact, I even brought along your joke gift of Southland Tales because I do intend to watch it again at some point. I took almost everything that I thought we had any chance of watching. What can I say, I'm a hoarder.